In The Handmaid’s Tale, The Republic Of Gilead is an anti-utopian society. It is one of the most terrifying dystopian societies in television history. It is a society of extremists and has the scariest laws ever. The punishment is very severe and vicious, and even the ruling class is not spared. No one would want to live there if they had the choice. So they cannot leave, ever. There are some terrifying laws to keep the citizens in check which actually chills our spine.
1. Freedom of Speech is Not Recognized
We can see the realities of banning freedom of speech in the Handmaid’s Tale. It regulates what people can say even to each other. It is a despotic and totalitarian regime where the rule is “fall in line or die.”
2. Only Heterosexuality is legal
Sexual interaction is only for procreation. Thus it is permitted only between a male and female. So anyone who is not heterosexual is an offender of the law. The Republic of Gilead defies one of the most basic human rights globally.
3. The Male next of Kin is the Heir Apparent
Gilead believes in suppression and domination. So only men have legal rights. Women and children are treated like property belonging to the male next of kin. It can be the husband, father, brother, or even a distant relative who has survived the revolution. Though this concept is an alien one in our times, it forms the mainstay of the storyline of The Handmaid’s Tale.
4. Women can’t vote
This law, from The Handmaid’s Tale, is appalling for women living in a democratic country, especially in the western world. It tells us about the level of oppression and terror in Gilead.
5. Women can’t read or write
Gilead follows a very highly despotic regime. It is illegal for women to read and write and there is no biblical justification for this law. It is a very confused governing body. Words are powerful, and women don’t have any power in The Handmaid’s Tale. So they are not taught or allowed to read or write in The Republic of Gilead.
6. Contraception is Illegal
In The Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead is all about resolving the country’s declining birth rates using any means necessary. But as we said, it is a confused governing body. Anyone found using contraception gets a death sentence. Consequently, the reality of the handmaids and the concept of forced birth is a horrifying one.
7. Not Everyone Gets a Fair Trial
Americans take the right to free trial for granted. However, the Law is very different in Gilead. Here, the favored classes may have a right to a free trial. But the others don’t even have a right to speak to defend themselves, e.g., Emily’s arrest where she could not talk.
These laws make us enraged and infuriated, but at the same time, they terrify us. But, thank lord, we are not living in the world shown in The Handmaid’s Tale. Do you think you would have survived in The Republic of Gilead?